January 18, 2021

China’s Power: Up for Debate 2020: Debate 4

This special episode of the ChinaPower podcast is the fourth of five featuring the audio from the China Power Project's fifth annual conference, which comprises five live online debates. The fourth debate took place on December 9, 2020 and featured two experts debating the following proposition: Within the next five years, China will use significant military force against a country on its periphery.

Under President Xi Jinping, China’s military capabilities have continued to grow. China has stepped up military pressure on Taiwan and conducted frequent large-scale military exercises in the South China Sea. In addition, border tensions with India reached the highest level in decades. A skirmish in June 2020 led to fatalities on both sides. China’s last significant uses of force were in the 1980s along the land border with Vietnam, and in the 1988 clash over Johnson South in the South China Sea.

Oriana Skylar Mastro, Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, and Foreign and Defense Policy Fellow at American Enterprise Institute (AEI), argued that China will use military force against a country on its periphery within the next five years. M. Taylor Fravel, Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Security Studies Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), argued that China will not use military force on a country on its periphery within the next five years.

This event is made possible by generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.